Thursday, June 14, 2012

Providing some context....

At the end of yesterday’s post, I attempted to highlight the Latino and Latina writers who have preceded Sara Campos as Letras Latinas Residency Fellows. Anyone who had a peek saw how screwed up the formatting became! My apologies.

I’ll attempt that photo gallery again (see below). But I want to share, briefly, how this initiatve came to be---as a way of highlighting how a typical Letras Latinas project is conceived and comes to fruition.

In September of 2007, I experienced my first writing residency---at the Anderson Center in Red Wing MN. I was fortunate enough to be one of seven artists who benefited from an initiative called "Midwestern Voices and Visions" (I was living in Indiana at the time). Its mission is to place artists of color in their first artist residencies. It’s a project that’s funded by the Joyce Foundation in Chicago, and administered by the Alliance for Artist Communities in Providence, RI. (Linda Rodriguez is another former "Midwestern Voices and Vision" fellow, who did her residency at Ragdale)

During my month at the Anderson Center, I got to know the poet and translator Robert Hedin, who is the founder and Executive Director of the Anderson Center. During our extended conversations, I was able to tell him about some of the work Letras Latinas carries out (the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, for example). By month’s end, Hedin proposed a partnership with Letras Latinas. The result? The annual Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship. We jointly decided that it would be for an emerging writer who has already demonstrated a degree of accomplishment, but who has yet to publish a full-length book. The one requirement that the Anderson Center stipulated is that the invited fellow commit to being in residence for a full month. The fellowship is curated by Letras Latinas and there is no application process.

Letras Latinas Residency Fellows
Sara Campos


This initiative is made possible
by the Anderson Center
and Letras Latinas’ individual donors

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